[EQ2] Tears of Veeshan – First impressions

Rakuno flying near Harla Dar

Tears of Veeshan, Everquest 2’s latest expansion was released last week. Since I was travelling I have only been able to check it out the in the last few days. I admit before the release I was a bit hesitant about it. Mostly due to the changes to gear stats and the promise that the questing would be less linear  than the previous one, Chains of Eternity. That and we would have to do some work for Qho again! Well, after spending these last few days with it I am happy to say my worries weren’t warranted. 🙂

Story-wise we have to go back to Ethernere again, the sort of EQ2’s version of limbo, where the undead pass through before they meet their chosen deity. The difference is that we go to Vespyrr Isles this time, the corner of the Ethernere reserved for all dragonkind. This creates an amusing situation since almost all of the big dragons there used to be raid bosses in previous expansions. So it is kinda funny to see what each of them are up to in their after-life. Surprisingly there isn’t any awakard interaction with them due to us being the responsibles for them being dead in the first place. Then again I only raided a couple of them due to certain circunstances. I might go back and try to do the raid for the others just to see if there is any different interaction.

The story is still being delivered thorugh a signature quest, just like in Chains of Eternity. The difference is it is a lot less linear. The first parts allow you to tackle things in any order you want. I don’t know if later parts will be the same as I am still doing them. Right now I am in some steps that require doing solo instances. Speaking of which, the solo instances are pretty challenging and in a pretty interesting way too. Let me explain, a lot of times in the past I felt that EQ2 tried to provide challenges in its dungeon through “brute force”. By that I mean, it required a certain amount of DPS or a script that required the whole party to do something exactly right or you just couldn’t pass through it. In the Nexus Core, the first of the solo instance, and the only one I didn’t feel it was the case. It was more of a question of paying attention to what was going in the fight and responding accordingly, usually by running away from some incoming attack. All attacks gave enough warning for me to act on it and there was enough visual cues to know how to avoid getting killed too. So it was more of a challenge to the player’s skill rather  than their gear or their ability to follow a script where you have to guess what the developer wanted you to do. I don’t know if later dungeons will be like this but I will find out soon enough, I guess.

Another interesting thing about the Vespyrr Isles is that they are all floating isles with the only way to get to each via flying mounts. This isn’t an issue since pretty much everyone at that level already has one of those. However it does create a very surreal and fantasy feeling to the whole place.

The revamping of the gear stats is something I am still trying to wrap my head around. The intention with the revamp was to make it more interesting and give players choices. I am still unsure if that will work out but one neat thing they did was to add an NPC that can exchange the gear you earn through quest rewards for similar gear with different stats. This allows us to play around a bit to find out  what kind of set works best for us. Right now Rakuno, my monk, is wearing a tankish set which has been working well for him. Later on I will experiment with a different set.

Crafters also got a bunch of goodies. My favorites ones being obviously the new recipes for carpenters. Although other tradeskill classes also got some neat stuff, like armorers who are able to use the old AA mirror (now called a polished mirror) to make one that can clear XP debt. Provisioners also got an advanced recipe book which allows them to build a few furniture related to their tradeskill. For those curious there are some pictures and some excellent write-up about that at EQ2 Traders.

Even the return of Qho, a.k.a. the little devil, wasn’t that bad. The new quest is pretty short and rewards a improved pack pony that has a chance to bring back some rares, just like the harvesting goblin. The difference is that the improved pony can also bring event harvestables whenever the related event is going on. So if Frostfell is going on then you can tell the pony to bring back frostfell materials. No more scrambling around to get as much event harvestables as possible before it is over!

I think the only thing I didn’t really test much yet was the new class, the Channeler. I only tested it for about 5 levels during beta and found it really amusing that their way of healing is by shooting arrows at the mobs! Besides that the class seem to have potential to be really fun. I intent to make one Soon ™ but for now I got other priorities.

Hm. I think those are the major things that came with the expansion. Or at least those are the ones that caught my attention the most.

Have you gotten the expansion too? What are your thoughts on it so far?

7 thoughts on “[EQ2] Tears of Veeshan – First impressions”

  1. And here I am so clueless about this expansion that I wasn’t even aware of most of the things that you were so worried about. 🙂

    I’m still pretty unsure what most of it is, so when people talk about things like equipment changes and such, I just nod my head and hope that I can still do whatever it was I was already doing. I’ll be doing very well if I ever get to the point of figuring out adorning! My main issue though is that I just don’t really care about these aspects of the game. As much as I love math in general, my eyes glaze over when there is talk about all the minute details concerning equipment and what should be worn with what and how this stat affect this object and how this other stat affects this other thingee. I’d just rather have a list of equipment to get at a given level, and then go and get that, and then not worry about it ever again and spend any game time actually playing. I just really don’t want to figure it all out, which is probably why all my characters are perpetually underequipped and starving, heh.

    So given all that, I can’t even get to the point of worrying about it!

    I think I left Sabine sitting up on a rock with Qho a few days ago when I was trying out the expansion. Usually, I send all my characters back home at the end of a play period so that they can start fresh the next time, but as I have no idea how Sabine can get back to the new areas without having the tradeskill quest to send her there, she’s stuck for the moment!

    Well Kelel has to finish getting all his Overlord stuff from the Heroes Festival, so everything else is put on hold anyway whenever I do get logged in. I’m working on a calculus issue at the moment though, so not sure when that will actually happen!

    I’m really hoping pink shirts are the new red shirts of Star Trek fame. 🙂

    • My worry was more that it would be like Rise of Kunark all over again with overland mobs hitting like a truck until you got the new equipment. It hasn’t been like that for me, at least with overland mobs. With the solo instance I heard it was a different story but I didn’t go there until I finished all the overland quests and got the new gear so I had no issues outside the scripted fights which is to be expected.

      Honestly I don’t really care at all about the stats either. Everquest 2 has so much gazillion stats that it gives me a headache and makes it actually harder to make interesting choices. To me interesting choices are born out of simplicity and being able to consider the ramifications of your choices from a glance. That is not what Everquest 2 offers to me. Unfortunately I like to play tanks, a monk even, so I need to have some passable knowledge of it. Or at least be able to fake it. :p

      If you are worried about getting back to Verspyrr Isles there is teleportation device in DXA guild hall. It is on the teleportation room and anyone should be able to use. I used it with Grulog earlier so at least adventuring level won’t be an issue. Another option is to use the dragon/druid ring in Velious. I heard that one works too.

      And I hope pink shirts become the new red shirts too!

  2. That’s good to know about the overland mobs. A group of three of them attacked Sabine while she was harvesting something and she didn’t run because she didn’t think they would be a problem for her since she had killed groups of yellow creatures before. Well she managed to kill one of them before she died! Then I remembered that she is still wearing the level 85 hero armor and whatever levels combat arts came with it, so going to a 95+ area and expecting to kill whatever attacks her probably isn’t a reasonable expectation at this point.

    Still, she *was* able to kill one of them…and without a merc too!

    • In those circunstances, yeah, I don’t think many would be able to survive an attack like that. Still nice that you were able to take at least one with you and without needing a mercenary. 🙂

      • Thank you. That screenshot was dang hard to take due to the size of Harla Dar (the purple dragon). So finding the right angle was no easy task. Also originally I wanted to take a screenshot with another dragon, Woushi. But that one proved even harder. So Harla Dar end up being the model!

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